Attending McGill University is 17-year-old Abicumaran (Abi) a recent graduate of Marymound High School who hopes to find a cure for cancer. It appears to be his life mission. Abi took an interest in medicine at an early age. At 5 he said he was reading Darwin and the Origins of life. Abi’s parents are ordinary folks – his mother a housewife and his father works at a hotel but they produced this delightful child prodigy who hopefully will be the person to take away our fears of cancer.
He has a younger brother and sister at the school. The Uthamacumaran children were born in Montreal after his parents, who are Tamil, came here from Sri Lanka.”My parents motivated us to get into the sciences,” he says, “and to make a contribution and an impact on society.”
When he was at Coronation elementary school, Uthamacumaran worked on a robotics program. He travelled abroad, to Japan in 2005 and Germany in ’06, to participate in science competitions.
For the German competition, the students created Scibot, a robot Uthamacumaran says was “as tall as me at the age of 10.” For the exhibit, Uthamacumaran dressed as a mad scientist and danced to James Brown’s I Feel Good while the robot replicated his movements.
Cancer research is more complex and involves less dancing. Uthamacumaran’s study of the disease has led him to a holistic approach that emphasizes the steps one can take to reduce the risk of contracting the disease.
“Dietary options, nutrition, daily activities and the radiation sources you’re surrounded by, like television and music players,” Uthamacumaran
said. He said everything we do in our modern industrialized society impacts the occurrence of cancer.
He believes anyone can achieve whatever they want. When you put your mind to it you can do it, he said the sky extends forever. There is no sky.””